Will Electric Vehicles Drive Mechanics Out of Business?
Electric Vehicles could drive traditional mechanics out of business
Traditionally, when a motorist went to a mechanic shop, the mechanic had to figure out what was wrong with the car first from experience and then repair what was wrong.
Today, things are rapidly changing. Now mechanics just insert an OBD-II scanner and it tells you what to replace. (Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD-II) is a standardised system that onboard computers in cars and trucks use for self-diagnostics and reporting)
We are now in a transition period between mechanical engineering and electronic engineering and the morphing between the two. Unless mechanics upskill into electronics and future technologies for autonomous electrical vehicles they run the risk of being left behind and redundant.
Granted, there are still plenty of mechanical systems on vehicles that have to be fixed, like brakes or suspensions but by and large plug and play electronic technologies are the future.
Fewer and fewer systems will allow you to do anything other than pulling out a suspected defective part and replace it. That means that different types of technicians will have to be used in the near future.
As automotive systems get more and more complex, it will become even more important to have service techs who are really good at using diagnostic tools and making sure that they know what really needs replacing.
Anecdotally, in the United States, it has been said that as much as 90 per cent of computer modules being returned were still perfectly OK. It will take specially trained technicians to analyse the problems.
All things considered, though, electric vehicles require less service (there’s no oil to change or spark plugs to replace), but in the end, an electric vehicle is still an automobile with parts that will inevitably wear out or break and will need replacement.
Even electric vehicles will need suspension work such as the usual mechanical tie rods, ball joints, shocks and general wear and tear items that will need routine maintenance.
Inside the vehicle, buttons still break or malfunction, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) systems will still have to be looked at from time to time. Along with that, a service at routine intervals will still be required for electric vehicles.
The future for auto mechanics may be much the same as it is today but with some differences. Mechanics will always be in high demand, but will perhaps need a bit of specialised training to repair the ever-advancing vehicles that automakers continue to pour out.
For auto mechanics not to be pushed out of business by the growth of electric vehicles they will have to embrace the new technologies and make the needed investment in upskilling and training to face the EV Automotive world of the future.
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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